Thursday, December 15, 2011

(HERALD) President commends ZPS over land

President commends ZPS over land
Thursday, 15 December 2011 00:00
Bulawayo Bureau

PRESIDENT Mugabe has commended the Zimbabwe Prison Service for embracing land reform and using its farms to feed inmates and impart agricultural knowledge as part of rehabilitating prisoners.

The President was speaking at the 143rd ZPS passout parade at Ntabazinduna Prison Training School yesterday, where 514 pri-son officers, including 146 females, graduated after six months of training. He urged ZPS to aim to use its farms productively.

"Agricultural production remains the nation's economic mainstay. To this end, I am proud to mention that Government's land reform programme has afforded more land to the Zimbabwe Prison Service to encourage ZPS to be self-sustaining and thus relieving the fiscus from wholly footing the burden of feeding inmates," said President Mugabe.
He said the Government had shown its commitment to agriculture by giving ZPS 11 farms under the land reform progra-mme, to add on to the 13 they had before independence.
"The provision of this land has also offered inmates a platform on which to acquire knowledge and skills training on agricultural production," he said.

He urged ZPS to aim for maximum production on its farms.
The President said the presence of female recruits was encouraging as it was in keeping with the country's gender policy.

He said the trend represented a break from the colonial legacy of discrimination and prejudice against female officers.
"I am also gratified that the Zimbabwe Prison Service continues to recognise and address gender disparity as witnessed by the elevation of female officers to top posts in its hierarchy. Further, the female officers in positions of authority have vindicated the elevation by excelling in like manner with their male counterparts."

He said independence had ushered in a number of corrective policies in the justice delivery system.
The President said under colonial bondage, blacks were only allowed to hold inferior posts in all fields, regardless of their ability.
"The Zimbabwe Prison Service has thus, in line with the new Government policy, witnessed change that included promotion of blacks into the top echelons of authority and a paradigm shift in the penal system from a retributive to a reformative and rehabilitative approach," he said.

President Mugabe said the Government remained committed to improving working conditions for civil servants and uniformed forces.
He said the Government had set up an inter-ministerial committee to examine conditions of detention facilities adding that the committee's recommendations would soon be tabled before Cabinet.

Turning to the recruits, the President congratulated them for successfully undergoing a rigorous training programme, in which only five dropped out after failing to make the grade.
Areas covered during training include historical overview of the penal system, overview of the Zimbabwe Prison Service, prison administration, drill and weapon handling and civic education.

"The training curriculum, as exhibited by its robust and rich array of courses was tailor-made to meet the ever dynamic prison management systems and trends," said President Mugabe.
He said he was convinced the courses had moulded the recruits into competent, vigilant and professional officers who were ready to offer proficient services to the nation and other bodies, such as the United

Nations' Peacekeeping Operations on Prisons and Correctional Services requirements.
He singled out the inclusion of civic education, coupled with an external tour taken by the recruits to Mozambique to see the mass graves of fallen heroes of the liberation struggle, as having inculcated in them a spirit of allegiance, belonging and patriotism.

He encouraged the graduates to continually draw inspiration from the selfless sacrifices made by the departed and living sons and daughters of the struggle, whose commitment, selfless love and patriotism brought the country to where it is today.

"I would like to remind you that this career is not a stroll in the park. Society's high expectations will place you in the unenviable position of public scrutiny. I therefore urge you to desist from corruption and be disciplined in carrying out your duties," said President Mugabe.

The ZPS as a token of appreciation presented the President with a bull and two heifers.
Cabinet ministers, traditional leaders, service chiefs, civil servants and senior prison, police and military officers were among those who attended the graduation ceremony.

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